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Practical Negotiating: Tools, Tactics & Techniques by Tom Gosselin

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Key Questions Expanded

  • Do I trust them? Do they trust me? Think about the people you negotiate with on a regular basis, including coworkers, key clients, vendors, spouse, and family members. Because of your history with these people, you should have a good grasp of how much you trust each other. However, trust is very difficult to assess when you are dealing with a person for the first time. Consider information as a currency—one that is valuable to both sides. Ask yourself, “Is this person forthcoming with information? Do they play it close to the vest? Can I trust the information they give me, or do I need to verify it? How do they treat the information I provide to them? Do they use it to threaten or pressure?” If I disclose to the other party that I am facing a certain deadline, do they use that information to pressure me into a quick decision?

  • Am I under time pressure? Are they? Time pressure or lack of it can affect the tactics you use. If I have little time, I am more likely to consider a take-it-or-leave-it approach. If the person is not willing to engage or takes a hard line, I need to know that so I can move on to another source to get my needs met. When time is short, I may present an opening position closer to my settlement expectation. However, if I have more time, I may be more patient in waiting out the other party. Ask yourself, “Who is putting time pressure on me? The other side? My management? Someone on my side? How can I reduce this pressure? Can I negotiate ...

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